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Tears Of The Kingdom Producer Kills All Hopes And Dreams For A Playable Zelda (For Now)

"Tears of the Kingdom" is finally out and critics are raving about the latest installment in the series. Carrying on the story of "Breath of the Wild," the latest "Zelda" title tells an amazing story supported by some wonderful voice acting from some great performers, including Patricia Summersett, who returns from "Breath of the Wild" to play Zelda once again. Of course, while the game is undoubtedly amazing and Princess Zelda sounds as good as ever, gamers still won't get to play as her at any point in the story. Further, it looks like they won't get to play Zelda in a mainline entry in the series for some time.

While there have been some great versions of Zelda over the years and she's even been playable in some spinoff titles, the titular princess of the series has never been the playable protagonist of any of the main games and, according to "Tears of the Kingdom" producer Eiji Aonuma, there aren't plans to change this in the foreseeable future.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Aonuma explained that solid gameplay remains the focus of the development team and that Zelda would only be made the playable character if it was thought that the change would work with whatever gameplay innovations were being introduced to the series. While not an outright never, this answer does seem to imply that there aren't plans to swap out protagonists anytime soon, as Link still works as the player avatar and gameplay has been built around the sorts of skills and abilities he has.

Link to remain the protagonist for now

While Aonuma focused on gameplay reasons for why Link will remain the protagonist, there are also, arguably, story reasons to justify such a decision. The larger plot of the entire "Zelda" timeline is based around the idea of an ongoing cycle in a battle between good and evil. As part of this cyclical struggle, an evil, embodied by Ganon and Ganondorf, will always rise and a princess and a hero will always emerge to stop it. With Zelda playing the role of the princess, that leaves the role of the hero to Link. While this certainly doesn't preclude giving fans a section to play as Zelda, it does make it hard not to make Link the primary protagonist in these games.

There may be gameplay and story justifications for this stance but it will surely disappoint plenty of Zelda fans. Iterations of her character have grown and been expanded on over the years and many versions of Zelda have proven themselves quite capable and heroic in their own right. We can hope that, in some future games, she'll get to showcase her combat abilities and maybe even be playable for a limited part of a game. For now, however, it looks like Link will remain the primary hero and playable character.